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774,000 Public Works Jobs: PDP Lawmakers Reject Slots

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers have rejected the slots allocated to them in the ongoing recruitment of 774,000 artisan youths for public works jobs.

President Muhammadu Buhari initiated the programme to keep some of the unemployed busy doing public works for three months, beginning from October.

One thousand people are to be recruited from each of the 774 local government councils to participate in the programme. They are to earn N20,000 monthly per person. N52 billion has been voted for the programme in the 2020 budget.

Governors, senators, House of Representatives members and ministers have been allocated slots to be filled from their constituencies. The average Nigerians will get the other slots after screening by the panels set up in each state.

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives said on Tuesday that allotting only 30 slots per local government to each member of the House from the 1000 jobs per local government, was unfair and unacceptable to the lawmakers and Nigerians.

Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) said the caucus was demanding more transparency and a review of the criteria being used to allocate the slots, which he said, favoured certain interests in the All Progressives Congress (APC), to the detriment and disadvantage of majority of Nigerians.

The minority leader insisted that “the 30 persons allotment to be supervised by a member in each of the local government areas, cannot by any criterium, said to be a true representation of the people we are mandated to represent.”

He said the 774,000 jobs are meant for the people, adding that the people look up to the lawmakers as major channels through which they are reached for social and economic empowerment, a situation, which makes the 30 person, out of the 1000 per local government, grossly inadequate.

He said: “The 30 persons allotment per local government for lawmakers is grossly unfair, inadequate and unacceptable to Nigerians. As the representatives of the people, we are closer to them and they directly interact with us, irrespective of religion, class and political affiliations.

“All Nigerians living in our constituencies are our constituents, irrespective of political leanings. We have a responsibility to protect their interests at all times. As such, lawmakers ought to have been carried along on the allotment.

“Moreover, the questions are, what criteria are being used in the job allotments? Given the 30 persons out of the 1000 per local government area allotted to federal lawmakers, what happens to the remaining 970? What answers do we give Nigerians? How do we ensure that the programme benefit Nigerians and not enmeshed in allegations of sharp practices as witnessed in the COVID-19 palliative distribution?

He urged President Muhamamdu Buhari to immediately order a review of the implementation process to ensure that the targeted citizens benefited from the programme as intended

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Agric Minister Shield’s Factional AFAN Leader From Police Invitation

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The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, on Friday, 17th June, 2021 at the ICC (International Conference Centre), in Abuja prevented policemen on duty from taking factional leader of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Mr Farouk Rabiu for questioning on fraud related matters.


According to reliable sources and eye witnesses at the scene which was the venue of the 2021, Council on Agriculture, the police were there to invite Farouk to Force headquarters following a petition against him for acts that bordered on criminality.


Recently a federal high court sitting in Abuja had cautioned the renegade group led by Farouk through their lawyer, on Wednesday,15/2/2021, against parading themselves as leaders of AFAN until the matter is determined in court.


Farouk had been accused of defrauding investors using the name of AFAN Kano branch which he illegally registered, a matter which had been brought before the Corporate Affairs Commission, who revoked the registration.


However, Farouk has been continuously recognised as the leader of AFAN, by the Minister who hails from the same state with him despite several petitions from the Arc Kabir Ibrahim led executive.


The minister’s actions in siding with Farouk despite a case in court to resolve the leadership tussle of AFAN, has been allegedly linked to the minister’s shameful removal as chairman of AFAN Kano, long before he became appointed minister.


Witnesses at the scene stated that the minister after frantic efforts to get the Inspector General on phone to call off his men failed, resorted to giving an unhindered exit to Farouk in his official car, tantamount to obstruction of justice, much to the chagrin of the police officers.


A reliable source further disclosed that the policemen declined to follow the minister to his office.

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Three Soldiers Injured as Troops Kill ISWAP Terrorists in Borno

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Troops of the Nigerian Army under the Operation Hadin Kai have killed several ISWAP Terrorists in Dikwa town, Borno State.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the gallant troops decisively dealt with the terrorists who were attempting to infiltrate the town on Tuesday.

The terrorist elements were said to have mounted five gun trucks, others mounted motorcycles, while others moved by foot.

They were, however, met with superior fire power by troops in conjunction with air bombardment by Air Task Force.

“The marauding terrorists were thoroughly vanquished forcing them to withdraw in high state of confusion abandoning their truck, guns and ammunition,” the statement read.

“During the encounter, six members of the terrorists groups were neutralized, several others were severely injured while the survivors withdrew in total disarray leaving behind their deceased colleagues”.

Three soldiers, however, sustained various degrees of injuries but have now been stabilised.

Items recovered during the encounter included one gun truck, eight AK 47 rifles, 40 rounds of 7.62mm Special, 39 special ammo, three motorcycles and six magazines.

To mop up the area, troops conducted exploitation in the early hours of Wednesday in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters along the terrorists’ withdrawal routes and recovered 90 rounds of 7.62 mm x 54 on links belonging to the fleeing terrorists.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya, has commended the gallant troops over the feat and charged them to remain resolute and steadfast.

He urged them to maintain the tempo in order to ensure total obliteration of terrorist groups within the North East region.

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Onion Marketers Threaten to Stop Supply to Southern Nigeria

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The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria has threatened to stop the supply of onions down to the South from June 7, 2021.

The group said it would carry out the threat if the government fails to compensate its members who have suffered losses in recent times following attacks in some parts of the country.

President of the association, Aliyu Umar, made this known to journalists at a press briefing on Sunday in Sokoto State.

He explained that the government under a committee led by the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello had promised to compensate their members, many of whom suffered huge losses in Abia, Imo and Oyo States during the #EndSARS and Shasha market crisis.

However, according to him, the promise has not been kept and the members have reportedly lost over 4 billion naira.

“We are calling on the state and Federal Government to restore law and order in the state, and we are calling on the good people of the southern part of Nigeria to live with the Hausa community in peace as we are only there for our lawful businesses,” Umar said.

“We also call on state governments to collaborate with fed govt to set up a committee to investigate the incident that led to the loss of lives and property of the Onion Association members.

“Furthermore, if the government fails to adhere to what we are saying, we are shutting the supply of onion to the entire south by Monday the 7th of June 2021”.

In recent times, the price of Onions skyrocketed from just about ₦20,000 to nearly a hundred thousand, in less than a year – a situation which quickly gave it the reputation of ‘new gold’.

While the price hike could not be understood by many, some traders have attributed the increment to seasonal fluctuations, a general increase in prices of fertilizers among other items, strike actions as well as insecurity arising from the #EndSARS protests.

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